More than one-third of grandparents who traveled last year vacationed with their grandchildren. As intergenerational travel continues to rise, grandparents are looking for ideas to help them connect meaningfully with younger generations…beyond visits to theme parks and the beach. To address this need, Hampton hotels has teamed up with grandparenting expert Arthur Kornhaber, M.D. to educate aging Americans about “nostalgia trips.” These are vacations in which grandparents take their grandchildren to places that were meaningful in their lives to share their families’ stories, while creating new memories of their own.
“Many children today are unaware of the rich history of their ancestors,” said Dr. Kornhaber. “Nostalgia trips are an excellent opportunity for older adults to connect with their grandchildren by literally taking them for a walk down memory lane.”
Hampton Inn and Dr. Kornhaber offer the following tips:
- Plan Ahead
Before your trip, sort out the memories, people and places you’d like to share, such as revisiting your hometown, school or favorite childhood destination.
- Treasure Chest
Start a treasure chest to share important family memorabilia, photos and other articles of personal value. For the trip, bring along the items related to the places you plan to visit.
- Back to the Future
When revisiting a special place, make sure to point out how it has changed (this is when old pictures come in handy).
A nostalgia trip is a good time to share family stories, recipes, and “secrets.”
- Slow Down and Be Flexible
It’s the closeness, memories and conversation that benefit your grandchild more than completing a taxing agenda.
- Pack Your Pictures
Pack older pictures taken with you in the place you plan to visit, and then take a new photo with your grandchild in the same place.
- Create New Memories
Take pictures, shoot video or keep a journal throughout the trip to help create a scrapbook.
- Stay Connected
Remember kids are kids, so talk to their parents about any special needs that must be met.
- Quality Not Quantity
The trip can be done in a full-vacation or one weekend at a time, selecting a special place or event to relive.
- Have Fun
Remember, fun is the most important part of any nostalgia trip. Be cheerful, open, non-judgmental, and caring.